The reason why people engage and take electrical training courses and apprenticeships is to find a stable job in the electrician jobs market once they have passed those classes. However, just completing the courses will not suffice, on-the-job training or electrician apprenticeship is important to complete the process. Here’s how to find an electrician apprenticeship course.
Where to Apply?
The best place to start-off to obtain your electrician apprentice training would be the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), which has a presence across the country. The organization’s headquarters is located at Bethesda, Maryland. The next place that you can check out is the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), and with their training centers located all over the country, you can choose to do an electrical apprenticeship with them or through their referral process. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is also a wise and terrific place to start your electrician apprentice course. These are just some of the well known training centers; you also can opt for private vocational training centers located in almost every city in the U.S.
Type of Training Offered
When you enroll in an electrical apprenticeship program, the training starts with basics such as installing outlets and stitches, learning how to measure, lay and install conduit, and testing wires. As the course progresses, the tasks become more complex; this could involve installing low voltage data devices and video systems. Once you have mastered the course and learned the National Electrical Code thoroughly, you will have to pass an exam testing all your skills and knowledge. Some candidates, after & if they pass, step into more specialized courses after the electrician apprenticeship. You require a total number of 144 hours or more of classroom instruction and an annual rate of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to complete your electrical apprenticeship. This may seem extensive and severe but it is necessary since they are many aspects to this position.
Depending on the institute and courses you select, the classroom teaching will vary, but there are a few basics which will be the same. One is Electrical Theory which will teach you the complex equations and calculations required by the science of electricity. Next is Safety Regulations which teaches the apprentice the proper and safe handling of tools which are vital to avoid injuries. Avoiding injury is one of the main focal points of the electrical apprenticeship.
Electrical Blueprint Reading is the most important section because electricians are expected to know the blueprint of a building thoroughly for proper installation. If you have opted to specialize in a particular category, your instructions will correspond to your specialization.
Once you complete the electrical apprentice and attain your electrician license, you can find work with local contractors as a trainee or even an assistant. Some people go on to start their own business or establish their own mobile electrical company out of their pickup. During the electrician apprenticeship, the on-the-job-training entitles a paycheck with the course. After this segment, electricians can be classified via different categories depending on the type of work they choose to tackle.
There are inside wiremen, outside linesmen, residential wiremen, and VDV installer technicians; the course itself covers the basic training and the specialized part for the particular category.
Enlisting yourself into a formal electrician apprentice agenda offered by various institutes is one way of earning your electrician apprenticeship, but some people prefer the “informal apprenticeship” after completing the classroom instructions. Informal apprenticeship involves working directly with a licensed and experienced electrician. Some people may already know someone who works and is qualified in this field. But you still need to pass the examination to obtain a license.
The Earning Potential: Electrician Apprenticeship Salary
The U.S. Department of Labor pegs the earning of a full-time electrician in the range of $30,000 to $80,000. An electrician apprentice can earn around 40 percent of the basic wages of an electrician that will be increased each year of the electrician apprenticeship. Though the wages for electrical apprenticeship are decided by contract agreements between employers and unions, some cities pay more compared to others due to demand.
Electricians who register with labor unions earn benefits such as sick leave, holidays, paid vacations, and pensions for retirement. But you then are part of a union, having to pay union fees, perhaps are not sure if those union fees are supporting a political candidate that is anti-business and favors policies that hurts the economy. In addition, being part of a union can put you near an unmotivated electrician who cannot be fired, does not work hard, yet, earns as much as you.
The Work Environment
Since the work can be both indoors and outdoors, the work environment for an electrician can be noisy, dirty, or cramped. Electricians are also expected to stand for long hours and sometimes in awkward positions. Though the job market after electrician apprentice is bright, due to the current economic fluctuations there may be layoffs and slow times in this field. All this needs to be taken into consideration before opting for the courses and certification route.